Face Shields for Caregivers: Columbia, MO
The Sathya Sai Center of Columbia, MO partnered with the University of Missouri (MU) School of Nursing’s Quality Improvement Program for Missouri (QIPMO) to provide face shields to nurses and caregivers at four post-acute care and long-term care facilities. Seven Sai volunteers got together on Sunday, April 19, 2020, at the Shanti Mandir prayer hall to fabricate 192 face shields. They started a little past noon, and finished by 9 p.m. The team complied with CDC’s social distancing rules: work stations were sanitized and all the volunteers wore masks. Once the face shields were assembled, they were disinfected with wipes, and packed individually for distribution to the four nursing facilities.
Each face shield package also included a "Thank You" card with a heart-warming message from youth volunteers who wished to express their profound gratitude for the sacrifices made by the caregivers.
The feedback was heartfelt and positive. The MU School of Medicine administrator wrote, “I have spent over 20 years working in nursing homes and understand how hard it is for the staff to work with such limited resources, especially when they care for the most vulnerable individuals during this pandemic.
Demonstrating concern for their well-being and providing real help to them is a great contribution!”
Those who delivered the face shields noted that “the facility was so excited to receive the face shields because they had none. They had exhausted multiple attempts at obtaining face shields. The joy and relief on the administrator's face was priceless”.
One volunteer stated, “I thought the period of lockdown would give me an opportunity for my own personal and professional fulfillment. I was proven wrong. The most fulfilling time of this entire period was the hours I volunteered to make the face shields. A lesson learnt: happiness comes from giving, not from gaining.” A youth volunteer added, “I was thankful for the chance to show my gratitude to the frontline workers during this crisis.”
A short video report, posted below, was produced to document the service of fabricating the face shields, with the goal to inspire other service organizations to potentially undertake similar projects in support of their communities.
Recent national forecasts predict the continued spread of the coronavirus infection for several more months. The need for face masks and other personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and other first responders has become even more vital. In response, the Sathya Sai Center produced a video to demonstrate in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step process on how to make a face shield, for use by other Sathya Sai Centers and interested service groups.